Eating Disorders

Painful, Itchy Skin Linked to Obesity in Children

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Children between the ages of two and five years old are at a higher risk for developing painful, itchy skin a condition known as eczema. Eczema is a chronic skin disorder that involves scaly and itchy rashes anyone can get eczema at any age and weight but small obese children are more than three times likely to develop the skin condition. In obese children the condition is also more severe causing more pain and itching which can often lead to an infection from them itching at it.


Over four hundred obese children and several (unspecified number) children of average weight were involved in the study. The researchers found that approximately nine out of every one hundred obese children developed eczema. They believe the reason is because "When people become obese, their fat tissue becomes larger, and it leads to the development of inflammation in fat tissue," she said. "This spills over into the rest of the body." The inflammation causes the fat tissue to become painful and itchy.


There is no cure for eczema. Doctors often treat the condition with topical creams if the eczema is located on a few small areas of the body. If the eczema covers larger parts of the body then oral antibiotics are often prescribed. The only potential problem with the antibiotics is that is a child (or an adult) can develop a resistance to antibiotics if they are overused and if the child or adult develops a condition that only antibiotics can treat they could be in serious trouble if they have become resistant to antibiotics.


The best treatment for eczema in this specific situation is not to allow your child to become obese. Parents are one hundred percent in charge of their toddlers and children’s diet and activity levels. Be sure your child gets plenty of exercise and has an active life along with a well balanced diet there is no harm in a Happy Meal now and then but do not allow your child to eat only fast food or unhealthy foods because they are quick and easy to prepare.

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology